1. Cabinet has approved the following major projects to convert the SSR International Airport into a world-class gateway to Mauritius -
(i) Renovation of the present Terminal including the creation of a special area for the public and a major overhaul of the existing central air-conditioning system amounting to Rs 205 million. Contract has been awarded and works are starting shortly.
(ii) Construction of a new Terminal of 21,000 sq mts for arriving passengers at the estimated cost: Rs 1.6 billion. The project will be financed partly by the European Investment Bank and partly by local funds.
(iii) Construction of a new Area Control Centre with up-to-date communication technologies to ensure safe aircraft operations over Mauritius airspace and to upgrade air traffic control services, in line with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The estimated cost is Rs 330 million.
(iv) Preparation of an Airport Master Plan to ensure long-term development of the airport infrastructure including Rodrigues and Outer Islands. The contract for this study has been awarded to Aeroports de Paris. This study will also determine the advisability of constructing an additional airport in the North.
(v) Institutional developments to upgrade to world class level the general management of the airport are also under way.
These major infrastructural works will reinforce Mauritius’ position as an international air traffic ‘hub’ for the region in the years to come.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the decision of the Electoral Boundaries Commission to include the Island of Agalega in Constituency No.3 Port Louis Maritime and Port Louis East. This inclusion will be effective with the publication of the decision in the Government Gazette. The electors of Agalega will be able to exercise their rights to vote as from the next General Elections. This rights will not be affected by any decision that may be reached by the National Assembly regarding the report on the general review of boundaries to be submitted by the Electoral Boundaries Commission in the near future.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the visit of the Prime Minister to Agalega on 14 December, 1998 and of the various projects which has been carried out in Agalega during the last two years. During the visit some 25 fully furnished new houses built for Rs22.9 million were allocated to workers and staff of OIDC. The Prime Minister also visited the following installations:
(i) a solar power system to the tune of Rs 2.5 million which has been a major breakthrough in the supply of electricity; and
(ii) a Satellite Dish System which made it possible for the people of Agalega to receive world wide programme including half an hour evening news from Mauritius.
4. Cabinet has discussed the water supply situation island wide and has reviewed the measures taken by the Ministry of Public Utilities in collaboration with the Central Water Authority and the Water Resources Unit to face the dry season and to ensure an adequate water supply to the population. The situation is being closely monitored.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the position regarding the completion of phase I of the project for the elimination of Sugar Estate Camps. The implementation of phase II will now be accelerated with the target to eliminate Sugar Estate Camps by the year 2000.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the holding of the 24th SADC Technical Coordinating Committee and the fourth SADC Wildlife Project Steering Committee Meeting in Mauritius in April, 1999.
7. Cabinet has approved the creation of a Bureau for Gender Equality with defined role, missions and objectives under the aegis of the Ministry of Women, Family Welfare and Child Development. The main objectives will be to ensure that gender aspect is taken into consideration in decision-making process , projects and programmes of the Government.
8. Cabinet has approved four applications for registration of Small and Medium Enterprises. These enterprises will be engaged inter alia in the assembly of computers, manufacture of stationery, paper products and printing as well as garments.
9. Cabinet has taken note of -
(i) the main decisions of the "12eme Conference Ministerielle de la Francophonie" which took place in Bucharest, Romania on 4 and 5 December, 1998;
(ii) the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Finance to the Republic of Croatia from 20 to 23 December, 1998 during which discussions for the signing of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement was held;
(iii) the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Housing and Lands in the 1998 International Conference on Habitat held in Turin, Italy from 1 to 5 December, 1998;
(iv) the outcome of the participation of the Minister for Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reform in the Second Biennial Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service held in Rabat, Morocco from 13 to 17 December, 1998; and
(v) the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Fisheries and Co-operatives to India from 11 to 25 December, 1998.